(COLORADO) — The week of Nov. 14 through Nov. 18 is Crash Responder Safety Week, and first responders are urging the public to use caution while driving near traffic accidents.
Crash Responder Safety Week is sponsored by the U.S Department of Transportation. The initiative is to help raise awareness and keep first responders safe. According to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), nearly one first responder is killed each week in the United States while responding to traffic accidents.
“Firefighters and other emergency responders are on our highways to serve the public and keep us all safe, and they deserve to go home to their families unharmed. With this Crash Responder Safety Week let us all commit to a safer work environment for our firefighters and travelers,” said IAFF General President Edward Kelly.
Colorado State Patrol (CSP) said there were over 1000 instances in Colorado of drivers crashing into an already existing crash, putting first responders and others at risk. Of those crashes, there were 588 injuries and ten deaths.
According to CSP across the nation, 65 emergency responders working on the roadway were struck and killed in 2021. CSP said such crashes are preventable if drivers slow down and use caution when approaching a crash scene.
“Drivers are reminded that Colorado’s Move Over Law requires drivers to move over a lane and/or slow down when approaching stopped emergency or maintenance vehicles,” said CSP.
During Crash Responder Safety Week, the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, CSP, the National Highway Safety Administration, AAA Colorado, and the Colorado State Committee on First Responder Safety will work together to raise awareness about the importance of using caution near traffic incidents along Colorado roadways.